John White should have been respected as a model American citizen, husband, father and upstanding member of his community. He did all the right things, worked hard, raised himself up by his bootstraps and sought to give his family a decent home in a decent neighborhood.
He rose at 3:30 a.m. to go to work as a construction supervisor in New York, but his appearance would make you think of a college professor, not someone in the construction industry. His American Dream became a nightmare when five drunken White teens showed up at his Long Island home one late night, threatening his son, vowing to rape his wife and refusing to leave the family alone.
Mr. White did the American thing; he exercised the right to protect his home, his life and his loved ones. He thought just showing a gun would end his trouble with the White mob. But a sudden move by an intoxicated 17-year-old, who wasn’t old enough to drink in the first place, apparently turned a confrontation into a tragedy. Mr. White, 54, says young Daniel Cicciaro lunged for the gun and it went off. The single shot killed the White youth, which resulted in the arrest and conviction of the 54-year-old Black man for manslaughter in the second degree.
The jury initially deadlocked on a verdict, but with Christmas days away and pressure from a judge, it took just 40 minutes for a deadlocked jury to become a jury with a unanimous guilty verdict. Now two White jurors are lamenting their decisions, saying pressure from the judge and fellow jurors pushed them into doing the wrong thing.
Where was justice?
Joe Horn, a White man from Pasadena, Texas, shot and killed two Latino immigrants who were allegedly breaking into a neighbor’s home. Mr. Horn was on the phone with a 911 dispatcher, and promised to shoot the alleged burglars, who were not on his property. The dispatcher told Mr. Horn not to go outside and that an unmarked police vehicle was present. “Here it goes buddy, you hear the shotgun clicking and I am going,” says Mr. Horn, according to a transcript of the 911 call. A shotgun is heard being cocked and Mr. Horn is heard outside. “Boom! You’re dead,” he shouts. A loud bang is heard. Since the November shooting, Mr. Horn has not been charged with a crime, or even arrested.
“Where does the line form to pin a medal on Joe Horn? I want to get in line,” wrote one letter to a newspaper cited in a media report. Another letter read, “Let’s get rid of the police force and just hire Joe Horn!” The shooting came shortly after a recently passed Texas law that expanded the right to use deadly force. The law allows the use of deadly force to protect ones property or to stop night time arson, burglary, robbery, theft or criminal mischief. But the author of the bill, a Republican, has said the bill was intended to allow people to protect themselves, their families and property–not a neighbor’s home.
A medal for Joe Horn, who disobeyed a 911 dispatcher’s instruction to remain in his home and was told an unmarked police car was nearby, and a possible five to 15-year jail sentence for John White standing in his driveway trying to protect his home and family. And, another potential eight years for firing an unlicensed weapon.
No justice for a man who expresses sadness at the senseless loss of a young life and who calls someone who threatened to assault him and rape his wife “a child of God.”
No justice for the Black man.
No justice for a man who heard tales of KKK night riders and lynchings from his grandfather. No justice for a man whose people have suffered domestic terrorism from the time their feet set foot on American soil.
No justice for a man whose people have been hung from trees, drowned in lakes and rivers, beaten, abused, bombed, burned, and tortured.
No justice for the children of slaves who have suffered untold cruelty at the hands of their slave masters and their slave masters’ children. No justice for a people who have been failed by the federal government, state government and local government.
How much more of this must Black America stand? How long must a people suffer a long train of abuses and usurpations? At what point in this course of human events will it become necessary for one people, Black people, to dissolve the bonds that connect them to their former slave masters and embrace their full God-given humanity?
The time is now. The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan asked this question on October 16 during his address marking the 12th anniversary of the Million Man March. He asked if it was better to continue to suffer under a people that have never shown love for us or to strike out on our own with a God who loves us dearly.
Every time Black America tries to access the rights that Whites say we have, such as the right to self defense, we find that we have no rights. The constitution and the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness never seem to be accorded to us.
Our so-called citizenship is an empty promise devoid of the respect and security that true citizenship confers on its holder.
We cannot continue to suffer like this; it is time to leave our former masters and create a new reality, a reality that will offer freedom, justice and equality for all who embrace it.
It’s time to separate.
Our Native American brothers of the Lakota Nation recently declared their intention to revoke all treaties with the U.S. government, treaties that have not been respected and promises that have not been kept. They have also had enough of the suffering, death and deprivation under the hands of White America.
Leaving the slave master may be a fearful thing for a 21st century, high-tech slave, still dependent on his master. But for free thinking Black men and women, it is a viable solution to a 400-year-old problem. We deserve to be free, we just need to be strong enough to embrace our freedom.